Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Joe Biden’s Smile

We’ve all seen it
on the face of every mediocre man
who knows America keeps a special place
in its heart, in its conference rooms
for those with a stately smile
for whom just showing up
and shaking hands
has always been sufficient

he’s the used car salesman
who sees your bank account
on his balance sheet
the instant
he sees you
getting off the bus
on the coldest Tuesday
in February

the college town landlord
who will never fix the hot water heater
so he can keep your whole security deposit
after you are forced to break your lease

the bureaucrat
who understands your concerns but
whose only skill
is making sure complaints like yours
get lost in the system
a form misplaced
a file mislabeled

it’s the special smile
of someone who knows
you have no choice
but to take
the shitty deal they’re offering.

—Matthew Ussia

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